Cyber Civics, Made Fun

To execute this important project, the FBI recruited (in the informal sense of the word) our 3D, Design, Development, and Strategic teams. Utilizing the full strength of our team, we created a sprawling, web-based interactive game for a nationwide audience of 3rd to 8th graders, designed to blend the joys of gameplay and online safety education.

Safe Online Surfing 3.0
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Strategy, 3D, UX / UI Design, and Front-End Development
12,560 schools in 49 states, Washington, D.C., and the Virgin Islands participated.

More than 700,000 students across the country completed the program

Navigating the digital playground

When seeking a modern refresh of their Safe Online Surfing program — an education protocol used to instruct kids on the dangers online — the FBI sought us out once more.

Our task was to craft an instructive and captivating experience for digitally adept 3rd to 8th graders. The project's dual focus was on imparting tech discernment and fostering positive social media habits, all while addressing the critical subjects of online safety and cyberbullying.

Rather than just deliver the cold, hard facts, we instead decided to design a narrative with the aim of encouraging empathy and flow — thus enchanting (while informing) our audience — a claim backed by both anecdotal and quantitative research.

The Desert level of the FBI SOS platform
Custom FBI SOS Map elements
The Tropical Island level of the FBI SOS game

Think, think again, and think some more

Shaping the visual and interactive core of the project transcended basic UX planning. To jumpstart tired content, we needed to conduct a methodical exploration into narrative development, gameplay dynamics, and the design and development needs to achieve both.

Our team intricately mapped out game flows, delved into numerous cycles of conceptual modeling, sketching, and asset creation, and refined the visual direction and gameplay of the entire experience. Wireframes, prototypes, and user tests were our constant companions, carefully adjusting interactive activities to make sure each lesson was easily understood while keeping gameplay at the highest level.

The swamp level of the FBI SOS game

“The SOS program has been a very effective tool which has provided the students … the knowledge they need to be safer online and when using technology.”

West Long Branch, New Jersey, teacher

Mobile comps for the FBI SOS game

Through close collaboration with the FBI and meticulous planning, testing, and refinement, Triptych crafted an immersive, engaging experience empowering kids with essential digital civics skills. The strategic creative and technical execution resulted in an impactful, modern-feeling game primed to educate youth on safe, ethical online behaviors for years to come.